One Village? One Sewing Needle!






Last year I wrote about the dilemmas of having one sewing needle per village or town- but ladies and gents-that was the size of it. Lose it? You would probably be shunned all over the county. Here is some more details about those sewing needles.

Perth Courier—June 9th 1899


According to an old resident of Fitzroy, at one time, when that locality was first settled by pioneers, there was but one darning needle in the whole county and not another procurable in the whole county nearer than Perth, 50 miles away.

That needle was a public possession, nearly twenty different housewives depended upon it for coarse sewing and mending and each separate household had the use of it for one day every three weeks.  Upon one occasion the woman having temporary use of the needle stuck it in a holder in the apron pocket and set off on a long journey to the grist mill riding with her bag of grain on horse back.

The road was rough and the needle jolted out.  It was a public calamity and women and children went out to search the forest for the needle.  The task seemed hopeless but at length a small girl spied the treasure and old Fitzroy turned out to rejoice. We can scarcely realize such privation now though no doubt our pioneer grandmothers could tell us many a strange story of similar lack of actual necessities.  –Almonte Times



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 20 Dec 1930, Sat,
  3. Page 2

related reading:

Gypsies Tramps and Thieves

A Story of Sewing Past

Were You the King of King’s Castle in Carleton Place? Linda’s Mailbag

How to Make a Vintage Apron- Aitkenhead Photo Collection

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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